Apart from the many physical benefits of swimming, scientists have presented ground-breaking results that this water sport is able to make you smarter as well!
Griffith University in Australia has completed a four-year study on early-years swimming. They surveyed parents of 7000 children under the age of five. The research also included an intensive assessment of 180 children between three to five years old.
Results from this research showed that children swimming at an early age are mastering a wide range of skills earlier than the normal population.
Early swimmers are performing better than non-swimmers in intellectual and motor skills. Their physical and mental development are at a faster rate. This allows them to master skills like language and mathematics quicker than children who don’t swim.
In fact, the earlier you begin and the longer you continue swimming regularly, the more beneficial and lasting the effects are.
Here are 3 reasons why being in the pool can keep those wheels in your child’s head turning quickly!
1. Like Classroom, Like Swimming Pool
One reason swimmers get a head start in their development is because of the similarities between what is taught in a classroom and what is learnt in the pool!
Children are exposed to numbers at an early stage when they take swimming lessons. This is because coaches are constantly using numbers in their conversations with their students.
For example, coaches will usually count “1-2-3 GO” at the start of an activity. Kids will also have to count the number of seconds they must hold their breath underwater or when doing an activity.
Starting swimming lessons at a young age also exposes children to language frequently. They often have to follow instructions given by the coaches, like teachers in classrooms.
Children can also voice out when they are unsure about anything during the swimming lesson. This builds on their oral expression at an early stage.
Furthermore, swimming helps to hone our motor skills! Our coordination improves overtime as we exercise the muscles in our body. These drills include flat palms for freestyle or pointing our toes for flutter kick.
Young swimmers fare better in visual-motor skills like cutting paper, drawing lines and shapes and colouring in. These skills are highly valuable, as they are beneficial in getting children ready for school.
2. Memory Booster
Besides the classroom like experience we have in the pool, another reason swimming makes us smarter is its effect of improving our memory.
A part of our brain consists of the hippocampus, which is a fundamental component of our brain’s learning and memory systems. Aerobic exercises, like swimming, are found to have a significant impact on the growth of the hippocampus.
By swimming regularly, the hippocampus will increase, allowing more oxygen to flow into our brain. This will in turn help to boost our memory capacity!
A strong memory is a definite key to retaining content-heavy information, which is necessary at school and work.
3. Focus, Focus and More Focus
Another great benefit swimming has in the brain department is to help sharpen our focus and concentration, ensuring we do not stray away from our tasks.
Swimming can increase the attention span of children. Swimmers are more likely to dismiss the distractions around them and focus better in their work.
Having the perseverance to complete laps instead of stopping halfway, and focusing on executing each stroke correctly helps sharpen our attention and focus greatly.
Therefore, swimming has been widely recommended for kids with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). It allows them to burn off excess energy, and helps them to gradually learn to concentrate on one thing for a longer time.
With better focus, you will be able to absorb and understand things better at work or in class. These efforts will ultimately translate into good results!
Swimming lessons are now clearly beyond just imparting water safety skills. They can enhance children’s lives socially, cognitively and physically, providing them with the head start that they need.
Learning to swim is definitely an innovative and fun way to engage young children in learning. Here is a simple summary of the many benefits that your children can get out from swimming lessons!
So, what are you waiting for?
It’s time to head down to the pool with your kids, and get those brain juices flowing!
If you are still uncertain, register for a free swim trial with Swim it Right today!
(Header image credit: vietravel.com)